Nigel Farage “suppose(d) that pro-Brexit MPs backing the deal (had) not actually read the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and the important Political Declaration (PD) that (went) with it.
These ma(d)e up a new European Treaty that reheat(ed) 95 per cent of Theresa May’s deal – see the sections below from Mr. Farage’s letter at TBP site. I think the TBP could do much better than burying this in a far corner of the site in small print, it should be trumpeted on the front page:
Remaining under EU rules but – no vote, no voice, no veto
During the Withdrawal Agreement’s extendable ‘transition period’ (which lasts until at least the end of 2020 and almost certainly years longer), we won’t withdraw from the EU at all but become non-voting members. We will still be trapped in the EU customs union and single market, subject to all existing EU laws and any punitive new ones they might pass (Articles 4.1, 4.2, 6, 41, 95.1, 127). And we’ll be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (Arts 4.4, 4.5, 86, 87, 89, 95.3, 131, 158, 163). The difference is we won’t have any say (Arts 7.1, 34).
EU judges still overriding UK laws
The ECJ – a foreign court – governs the Treaty and EU law takes precedence. Future British parliaments will be bound to obey ECJ rulings, and UK judges will be obliged to overturn laws passed by our Parliament if the ECJ says they don’t comply with the Treaty or the EU laws it enables (Articles 4.4, 4.5, 86, 87, 89, 95.3, 131, 158, 163). In some cases, the ECJ will rule for years even after the transition ends.
Still no control of our fishing
The dreadful Common Fisheries Policy continues in UK waters during the extendable transition period, but we will have no say in it (Article 130). That means huge foreign trawlers plundering our waters at the expense of our coastal communities. After the transition, the Political Declaration (PD) signs us up to sharing ‘access to water and quota shares’ (PD, paragraph 73) – which equals continued EU exploitation of UK fishing grounds.
Still not free to trade as we see fit
Boris boasts of leaving the EU customs union. Yet the Political Declaration states any future free trade agreement with the EU must ensure ‘a level playing field’ (PD, paragraph 17, 77) and ‘deep regulatory and customs cooperation’ (para 21). This means sticking to EU rules. It will be hard for the UK to reduce tariff barriers to cut the cost of living and make trade deals with other nations. The PD also requires we pursue ‘ambitious customs objectives that are in line with the Parties’ objectives and principles’ (para 22) – another restrictive EU customs union in all but name.
No control of tax or state aid policies
EU law applies to the UK during the transition period (WA, Article 127), and beyond that the Political Declaration obliges the UK to adopt EU rules on state aid rules and ‘relevant tax matters’ (PD, para 77). This all means we can’t change tax rates to be more competitive and can’t assist a strategic industry such as British Steel.
No independent foreign policy
The Treaty restricts UK sovereignty by preventing us taking ‘any action likely to conflict with or impede’ EU foreign policy (Article 129.6) – despite having no say in policy making. The UK will be signed up to all EU treaties, including new ones, throughout the transition period, and must ‘refrain… from any action… which is likely to be prejudicial’ to EU interests within international organisations such as the United Nations Security Council and the WTO (Art 129 points 1 and 3).
No independent defence policy
The Political Declaration commits us to security integration through the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund (PD, paragraph 102(c)). We will fund the EU’s military plans during the transition period at least, and British troops in EU battlegroups will be under foreign command (WA Articles 128.2, 129.7, 156, 157).
The United Kingdom divided
The Treaty creates a de facto customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Britain. Goods moving between NI and Britain will be checked. Citizens living in NI would effectively be staying in the EU, without any say in their laws, for at least four years after the transition and quite possibly forever. In other words, the UK gives up part of its sovereign territory —for what? (“Backstop” Protocol Articles 5 and 6.2).
Pay the EU billions and get nothing in return
The Treaty commits us to pay a sum to be decided by the EU (WA, Part Five). The £39bn payment demanded is likely to be just the start, with billions more to follow.
Trapped by the Political Declaration
The problems won’t end with the transition period. Don’t be fooled just because the Political Declaration on future relations is not legally binding. Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement requires us to use ‘best endeavours, in good faith’ to negotiate a future deal in line with the PD.
Any breach of this duty will see the EU haul Britain before an arbitration panel – half EU appointees, half pro-EU judges from the UK. And the panel must defer to the European court on anything concerning EU Law. If they rule that a UK law goes against the Political Declaration, UK courts will have to overturn that law (WA, Articles 170-175). The Political Declaration is a trap from which there is no plausible escape.
The entire point was to exit all those controls but Johnson re-signed Britain to controls by a hostile, unelected power, itself controlled by Germany.
Then he has the unmitigated gall to call it Brexit and say he is getting us out. By no reading of this treaty is he getting Britain out – in fact it is worse than before.
The whole EU modus operandi
Years ago I collated how the EU operated – its mechanisms, its history and as Roger Helmer said to me at the Tory conference many moons ago – the EU has no history of ever giving powers back without extracting a huge price. That is the huge price above.
Boris, like Chamberlain, came back with nothing, nicht, nada, zilch. It’s astounding reading people saying wwweeelll, let’s just back this deal for now and then talk about getting out.
NO!!!! Do they not see that this deal BINDS? Perhaps they don’t see it.
Or perhaps they do see it and are fighting for the Tory Party, NOT for the country. Because this deal is a shocker.
Johnson lies through his smile
He told Peston he had a great deal and was ‘taking Britain out’. How, under any reading of that deal can it be construed as taking us out?
It is doing the opposite.